(Reuters) - UEFA has opened registration for esports competitors to represent their national teams at the inaugural eEURO 2020, with the qualifying phase kicking off in November 2019.
Players from all 55 of UEFA’s national associations will look to qualify for the final tournament in London from July 9-10, a couple of days before the final of the real-world European Championship at Wembley Stadium on July 12.
Gamers will compete in Konami’s eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 (PES 20) on the Playstation 4 video game console.
Between November 2019 and January 2020, each national association will nominate their team, with participants being chosen through either a domestic online or ‘physical’ tournament – unless a national eFootball team already exists.
A draw will take place in January 2020. It will divide the participating nations into 10 groups for the online qualifying phase, to be contested between March and May 2020.
The winner of each group and the best six runners-up will qualify for the final tournament in London.
“eFootball is played by tens of millions of people across the continent and we are delighted to give competitors from our national associations the chance to represent their country on the biggest stage,” said UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.
“We have seen a massive growth in the popularity of eFootball over the past few years and the eEURO 2020 will give us the opportunity to connect with new and existing fans of national-team football.”
A total of $100,000 in cash prizes will be split between the quarter-finalists, including $40,000 for the winners. The champions will also receive tickets to watch the final of UEFA EURO 2020.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis